I've often fantasized about how helpful -- or at least interesting -- it would be if we could travel back in time to revisit moments in our lives. In the investing realm, for example, I'd like to know what I was thinking when I sold my shares of Capital One
Lo and behold, there may be hope for those born in the near future. The other day, I read at Scientific American's website about what some folks at Microsoft
The authors, Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, are among the researchers involved, and they've been recording the events of Bell's life for quite a while now. "For the past six years, we have attempted to record all of Bell's communications with other people and machines, as well as the images he sees, the sounds he hears and the websites he visits -- storing everything in a personal digital archive that is both searchable and secure."
Should it end up widespread, this kind of technology has many implications. It could monitor our bodies, record various health-related statistics over time, and make that data available to our doctors (and to computers that can look for worrisome patterns). If aggregated, it can impart useful information to everyone from city planners to marketers, by logging where we go and what we do over time.
The investor's take
So what might we investors make of this development? Well, we could just say, "Wow, that's neat." But that's not what Rule Breaker investors would do. They'd pay more attention, because they're the types who are looking to make big bucks by taking on some extra risk, investing in companies that break molds. (To learn more, take advantage of a free trial of our Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter.)
If you want examples of companies that are making money on new ways to do things, consider alternative-energy specialists, such as Evergreen Solar
But back to the "MyLifeBits" project. It might end up becoming a terrific investment itself one day -- or it might just turbocharge some other companies, such as Microsoft itself. Think about companies that might be able to capitalize on such a development. Database specialists such as Oracle
In the meantime, consider checking in on the progress of this research now and then. You never know what will come of it.